Wild and Untamed, Unknown Adventures
WOW! That’s pretty much all you’ll be able to say for the first ten minutes on a WaterMaarq freediving course and fun dive on the Tasman Peninsula in south-east Tasmania. Hosted by our great friends and supporters at Go Dive Tasmania our jaws drop even further on each visit.
Over the weekend 2nd – 4th December, we delivered an intensive PADI Freediver course and ran several fun dives for the growing number of WaterMaarq certified freedivers there.
As Old as…the Jurassic Period
If you’ve never travelled back in time, well, this is your chance. Minus the time machine, you’ll step aboard the dive boat and suddenly be amongst features that are around 183 million years old.
A widespread phenomena covering around a third of Tasmania, the dolerite rock is a function of the Jurassic period. Tasmania in fact has the largest area of exposed dolerite in the world [Source: Wikipedia].
During the freedive excursions, the backdrop is nothing but stunning. Sheer cliff faces drop into deep blue clear water. The natural steps, corrugations, boulders and mounds create phenomenal features under the surface. Light bounces off swaying kelp as fish species like wrasse seek to stay hidden in the growth.
Seals bake on the rocks above and slide effortlessly off one metre high drops to join you. Swooshing around with air bubble trails in their wake, their bold enquiring eyes meet your gaze and you both just wonder.
Curious, hesitant and playful, the seals mind their business but also yours. The silence between you is only broken by the pressure thuds as the seals change direction suddenly and acrobatically.
December PADI Freediver Course
The Tasmanian PADI Freediver course took it’s usual structure of pre-learning via the PADI Freediver Touch, followed by a theory recap and pool session in Hobart. The final sessions being the open water dives on the Tasman Peninsula. The high level structure follows:
- pre-learning completed by the students using the PADI Freediver Touch,
- a theory recap and extended double pool session on Friday, and
- the double open water freedive sessions split over both Saturday and Sunday.
It’s an intensive weekend of freediving and offers the participants a weekend fully dedicated to freediving.
Go Dive: Leading the Way in Local Freediving
Thanks goes to our friends and great hosts at Go Dive Tasmania for another formative weekend of freediving and a wonderful experience with the growing community of freedivers in Tasmania. Here’s a little insight into Go Dive’s Facebook post from the weekend.
On this edition of the PADI Freediver Tasmanian freediving course, we were joined by participants with very cool stories. Kyle, a passionate freediver and sports fisherman, last year made headlines for his rather large catch, potentially an Australian record. Leah, recently returning to TAS from a long working spell in Queensland, made her decision to debut as a freediver in the wild waters of Tasmania. Finally, Kieran, who’d once swum in the Antarctic as he worked as part of an Australian Antarctic expedition team committed to the warmer waters of the Tasman Sea (14c this weekend).
As freediving shakes it’s reputation as an extreme sport and becomes the way more people want to enjoy the water with less gear, less effort and more fun, WaterMaarq is welcoming a wonderful diversity of participants to courses and fun dives.
Certification courses like the PADI Freediver stream offer an accessible way for very beginners and experienced freedivers, underwater photographers and spearfishing enthusiasts to learn the techniques and skills to freedive longer, better and safer.
Fun Freediving Charter Dives
Greeted by nothing but perfect conditions across sea, sky and land over the weekend, under the guidance of our esteemed Skipper, Aaron of Go Dive Tasmania, we bundled in a whole bunch of adventures!
Chasing the coast south, it was as if time had stopped. The mornings offered the most incredible conditions for the Tasman Sea. Calm surface, little wind, sunny skies and clear blue water. The growing community of WaterMaarq certified freedivers means that there’s a core group of Tasmanian freedivers keen to explore the coastline, potentially much of it the first time on breath-hold.
Beyond the Devil’s Kitchen, Patersons Arch and Waterfall Bay, passing through Fortescue Bay and towards Cape Hauy, there’s not really much left after that. Unless you keep heading to Antarctica.
During the extended freedive session we played with seals and sought out fish and shellfish species parading in the undergrowth. You don’t need to be a deep freediver to enjoy everything that the temperate waters have to offer. In as little as three meters depth, there’s plenty of playgrounds to explore. Those keen to find the creatures that live in the cracks and crevices may need to be comfortable in 5-10m depth. Adventurous advanced freedivers happy in 15m+ will love the swim-throughs and caverns that extend the playground in full surround 3D.
Freediving Weekend – February 2017: Book Now!
Our next WaterMaarq PADI Freediver freediving course and fun dives in Tasmania (in Hobart and Eaglehawk Neck) is:
- Friday 24th Feb – Sunday 26th Feb
- Book your place on the PADI Freediver course using the button below!
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Images in this post taken using our trusty Nikon AW130 Waterproof Camera.
All images edited using the Adobe Creative Cloud suite including Lightroom and Photoshop.